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Rubbish Free Parks

Rubbish Free Parks

From late January there will be no more rubbish bins in nine of Christchurch’s regional parks - the Groynes, Styx Mill, Spencer Park, Seafield Park, Bottle Lake Forest, Port Hills reserves, Travis Wetland, Taylors Mistake, and Halswell Quarry Park.

Christchurch City Council coastal area head ranger Rodney Chambers says the aim is to encourage visitors to these parks to recycle their rubbish. “If people can ‘pack-it-in’, I’m sure they can ‘pack-it-out’,” he says.

“The removal of rubbish bins from parks is not new. The Department of Conservation, Auckland Regional Council, and Parks Victoria in Australia having been doing this for years and it works. Visitors understand the need to recycle and they take their rubbish home,’’ he says.

Some of the city’s regional parks including Travis, most of Bottle Lake and the Port Hills are bin free already.

“It has been working in these places for sometime and now we’re merely formalising the process,” says Mr Chambers.

The Christchurch City Council passed the resolution to remove bins from the nine parks in October. In the past, a contractor has emptied bins from Christchurch’s regional parks and taken the rubbish, unsorted, to the refuse stations. Under the new scheme, the Council will engage a contractor to a lesser extent to pick up the odd bits of rubbish discarded in the regional parks, and cleaning of the parks will be increased.

“Not everyone will embrace the idea initially. Experience in other centres has shown that after some initial concerns the majority of park users changed their behaviour and began to recycle,” says Mr Chambers.

“The City Council’s environmental education programmes have been reinforcing this message for years and the children who visit our parks are often the best at recycling,” he says.

Mr Chambers says if park visitors take their picnic rubbish home with them, they will be more likely to put items such as drink bottles, newspapers, and cans into their recycling crates for kerbside collection.

“That way, there is less wastage of resources, a reduction of waste to landfill, and our regional parks stay clean and attractive,” he says.

Doggy-do bins will be retained at these parks and on the coastline.

See the City Council’s website for more information www.ccc.govt.nz/RubbishFreeParks

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